For many of the greats of literary Modernism, including James Joyce, D. H. Lawrence, Djuna Barnes, e.e. cummings, Ernest Hemingway and John Dos Passos, the ultimate cat and mouse game with the censors was played on a global scale. More than a decade before the Nazi book burnings turned public opinion against the obscenity laws, writers and their publishers defied the law, and we will examine the extraordinary symbolic richness of the writing that fooled the censors (Solzhenitsyn, Du Fu) as well as the ways that some writers and editors caved in to the authorities (Dos Passos).
Charles Riley, who taught and wrote under extreme government censorship in China while helping dissidents, tracks the network of censorship that targeted Joyce's Ulysses and other "obscene" books.
The Rare Book Room at Strand Bookstore boasts an elegant venue, the walls lined with leather-bound treasures from a book hand printed in 1480 to a limited edition Ulysses signed by Henri Matisse, the illustrator, and by James Joyce.
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